Monday, August 22, 2011

First day!

Oh wait... that was last Monday. Needless to say, our first week back to full-time homeschool has been full! The kids have started to wrap their minds around the fact that we really do have to do this every day, and I've started out working out a new routine that now includes three grades. Reagan's an official student so if not for the joy of homeschooling I'd be all by myself for most of the day, most days. Though I never dreamt this would be the path God would lead us down, I'm abundantly grateful I don't have to say good-bye to these sweet faces each weekday morning! Wouldn't you agree they're worth being "tied down" to? 

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Funny faces

What do mama and the little kids do when Alyssa gets invited to a sleepover?  Head over to Chick-fil-A of course!  We're not ones to pass up free food, bounce houses, face painting, Dig It! or a beautiful summer evening if we can help it.  Somebody remind me what we did on Tuesday nights before they came to town...  Wow, that sounds a bit pathetic.  Life is good, but clearly my definition of fun has changed a little since becoming the mother of grade-schoolers.  Somebody please tell me I'm not the only one whose social calender revolves around a fast food joint!  And then tell me if these aren't two of the sweetest painted faces you've ever seen:

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Fair Fun

Some of my favorite memories as a kid are from county fairs. Really, does anyone have bad memories from the fair? How can you not have a good time when you're surrounded by fried everything, pony rides, enthusiastic Cutco demonstrators and three week-old beribboned baked goods? We're trying to carry on the tradition with our kids via the "Country Fair with Ocean Air," so Friday we spent the day mutton bustin', stuffing ourselves full of funnel cake, cheering on the racing pigs, and trying to pretend we know a little more about livestock than our children.  

Monday, August 01, 2011

Alyssa's Sour Cream Chocolate Cake

Alyssa is a helper.  There's nothing the girl seems to love more than finding things to clean, set in order, fetch, create and schedule.  At times it's quite frightening just how much she's like her mother in this regard.  We're constantly reminding her that she is not, in fact, a mother, nor is she in charge.  But it is more often a joy to see the little lady she's becoming... and to have a little help.  Saturday night we had guests for dinner and I was late getting everything put together.  When my s'mores idea fizzled due to a lack of wood for the fire pit, Alyssa volunteered to make dessert.  She's assisted with this favorite cake a few times before, but this time she did the measuring, dumping and stirring all on her own.  I believe the original recipe came from my sister's MIL so here's giving Debbie credit where it's due, but in our house this will now be Alyssa's Sour Cream Chocolate Cake.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we all did!
1 cup sour cream
1 cup oil
4 eggs
1 box yellow cake mix "with pudding in the box"
1 large box instant chocolate fudge pudding
12 oz bag (2 cups) chocolate chips
1/2 cup hot water
Combine all ingredients.  Bake at 350 for 50 minutes in buttered bundt pan, or until edges are darker brown and top is puffy but not completely dry.  We like it slightly under-done in our house, so don't expect a toothpick to come out clean. 
Serve with vanilla ice cream for an especially delicious (and caloric) treat!